Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.
















Saturday, June 30, 2012

Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms with Chicken


During the school year our weeknight dinners often need to be on the fly and meeting our Paleo diet lifestyle (we pretty much only splurge non-paleo style on the weekends these days...although now that we're officially on summer break that rule will likely be hardly to follow for this Foodie Couple.)

This dish was perfect for a Monday night. Drizzle some fresh green beans and mushrooms with a mixture of olive oil and balsalmic vinegar, add some sliced garlic, add some leftover rotisserie chicken. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Voila, dinner's on the table. And it's savory, tasty and  fully satisfying. And to boot it was also an one dish meal. Truly what could be better.

Recipe:

Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms with Chicken
1# fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed
1/4# mushrooms, cleaned and sliced in half
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 Tblspns olive oil
4 Tblspns balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together olive oil and balsamic vinegar with salt & pepper. Toss green beans, mushrooms & garlic with the dressing. Add shredded chicken breast. Place is a shallow baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New York Steak with Baby Greens and Grilled Nectarines

Summer grilling and stone fruits are two things that go pretty perfectly together at our house. We love grilling peaches, plums and nectarines. G makes a fab grilled peach dish with balsamic vinegar that we look forward to every August when the peaches come in.

Grilling is also so very forgiving to these fruits that struggle to ever get sweet enough in the state of Washington.

This Thai steak salad dish is the perfect vehicle to showcase grilled nectarines.

Recipe:

New York Steak with Baby Greens and Grilled Nectarines ( adapted from The Best of Vietnamase & Thai Cooking)
Dressing:
1 TBLSPN minced shallot
3 TBLSPN champagne vinegar
2 TBLSPN dijon mustard
3 TBLSPN olive oil
2 TBLSPN water
1 tsp agave nectar ( you can use sugar instead)
Salt & Pepper

Salad:
1 # Grilled New York steak
1/4 # baby greens
3 grilled nectarines, sliced
3 TBLSPN Thai basil leaves
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Combine dressing, mix well and set aside. Grill steak & nectarines. After letting steak rest slice to 1/2 inch thick.

In salad bowl, toss the greens, sliced nectarines, basil, onion & steak with the dressing. Serve in a mound in the middle of the plate.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lola, Seattle

We are 100% Tom Douglas restaurant fans. We've eaten at 8 of his 10 Seattle restaurants. Some of them multiple times and truly we can't think of 1 disappointment we've ever had except maybe having to wait a long time to get a table. 

But our all time favorite for breakfast is his restaurant Lola. Lola has a Greek inspired menu overall.  If we are ever in Seattle around breakfast time you can count on finding us there.

 We do usually have to wait for table @ Lola. A few times we've even just given up on the table altogether and ended having breakfast at the bar. 

We often start with a mimosa or one of Lola's perfectly made Bloody Mary's. And when we are really calorie splurging nothing is better than their little freshly made doughnuts in the brown bag. We skipped them on our latest visit.

During our recent Seattle weekend we made Lola a must for Sunday breakfast.  

G had what we both typically order: Tom's 2 egg breakfast with handmade sausage and the world's all time best roasted smashed red potatoes. Believe us these potatoes are worth going off the Paleo diet to induldge in.   

This time I actually ventured from our usual and tried the Lola Bennies. Oh yeah, we've found a new fav breakfast dish here. So perfect. 

Sometimes I wonder if we are missing out by not trying new Seattle breakfast spots? But honestly we are okay with out. When you find something that satisfies this much finding something new isn't as enticing.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grilled Steak and Papaya Salad

This month Kris & Jeff hosted Supper Club in their lovely new home
 inspiring us all with a Vietnamese theme.

It's pretty great this group of people we've become. We've seen each other through new homes, new babies, new jobs and a whole lot of great food over our almost 10 year span. And it's especially a fun month when our gathering includes some
new food for everyone too.
Kris & Jeff decided they wanted to make a Vietnamese Pho, it's pronounced more like "fuh" we recently learned. 

It had been a really long time since all 5 couples had been able to make supper club at the same time so it was really nice to all be together before our summer hiatus starts.Once we all arrived and had a drink in hand the feast began.


We all stepped up to the plate to create a completely Vietnamese meal.

Robin & Shannon brought these lovely fresh spring rolls. G & I LOVE fresh spring rolls. I quite honestly have cravings for fresh spring rolls when I haven't had them in awhile. These quenched that craving for awhile at least. Robin did a great job at with this tedious preparation it takes for spring rolls.

G actually took full responsibility this month for creating our dish. He made a Bobby Flay inspired Grilled Steak & Papaya Salad (recipe linked below.) It was awesome. He marinated the steak in a wonderful Vietnamese marinade and that flavored with the sweet papaya was spectacular. We need to make this again.

Jenni & Arnie made a stir fried cabbage dish with eggs and mushrooms that was also really tasty and balanced out the meal.

Then there was the Pho. They made a chicken pho that was excellent. The broth was so fragrant and wonderful...

with all the accompaniments to go with.It was a Tom Douglas recipe.
It was all so good when G went back for seconds it was already all gone. That rarely happens with our group. That's when we know it was a fantastic meal.

After everyone was done catching up and sharing their plans for the summer it was time for dessert.
And as usual Lisa & Derrek knocked it outta the park with this one. Vietnamese Pudding with Tapioca Pearls and mango.

This dessert was superb. Light and fresh but comforting all at the same time. And so beautifully garnished.

It was a great meal that we all enjoyed this June.
Until September Supper Clubbers.

Recipe:
Bobby Flay via FoodNetwork linked

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thai Steamer Clams

We love steamer clams. It's part of living in the Northwest as G's learned. Having grown up in the land locked Midwest steamer clams and shellfish just weren't things he grew up eating but over the years he's become just as big of a fan of them as I am.

One of our most favorite preparations for clams is to prepare them with our favorite Thai flavors.  

First, its important to thoroughly clean your clams. There is nothing delicious about eating sand even if it is Thai flavored. We scrub ours with a vegetable brush first to remove any lose sand that might be hanging onto them, then we filter them with cold water 4-5 times.( I fill a pot with cold water, let them sit for 5-10 minutes then drain the water off. Repeating that process 4-5 times.) Doing this rarely leaves us any trace of sand in our clams.

Next we create our steaming broth. When we go with this Thai version we use white wine, butter, lemongrass, ginger, red pepper flake and some shallot.

Once the broth starts to bubble we add the clams and cover the dutch oven until the clams start opening.

Once the clams are all open we add some fresh cilantro and bust out some crusty bread to sop up that wonderful broth.

For these clams G picked up a bottle of this spectacular Heron Chardonnay from Sonoma. It was so good with the clams. Perfectly balanced with broth's flavors. We can't wait to have it again actually.

There's really nothing that we like more than a nice evening, eating clams on the patio with a fantastic wine. Truly, it's pretty much what makes us the happiest.I guess we're pretty simple that way.

We'd love to know what your favorite backyard meal is?



Recipe:
Thai Steamer Clams
(measurements are approximate. We make this so often that we don't measure.)
2 lbs. steamer clams (manila)
2 cups dry white wine
3 Tblspns butter
2 Tblspns chopped lemongrass
2-3 large pieces of ginger
2 Tblspns diced shallot
2 tspns red pepper flake
salt & pepper
3 Tblspns chopped cilantro

Scrub and clean clams thoroughly. In a dutch oven place wine, butter, lemongrass, ginger, shallot, pepper flake, salt & pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add clams. Cover 6-10 minutes, or until clams are open. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with crusty bread.




Monday, June 18, 2012

Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Cinnamon Dressing


Several years ago G was on a quinoa kick. He made these amazing quinoa and chirozo stuffed peppers that we were eating pretty regularly for awhile. Then we sort of moved away from  using it, using cous cous in it's place I guess.Not a purposeful switch just kind of happened.

But quinoa is back on our radar again. And we're glad it's such a great whole-grain (for when we are eating grains) ready in 15-20 minutes and gluten-free ...what's not to like?

I happened to have a package of Red Mill quinoa that we wanted to use and we went from there to create this wonderful salad.

We found these lovely red beets at the farmer's market we thought beets and quinoa together needed to happen. We had an orange that needed to be eaten so we added that as well for the citrus component.

Our next thought was the dressing. Of course we immediately thought of making some sort of chipotle dressing.

And then I remembered one of the samples I picked up at the Blogher conference from Wholsome Sweetners included a packet of Organic  Blue Agave Cinnamon flavored that I thought could balance out the chipotle heat.

We threw in some chopped cilantro and some chipotle glazed almonds that we had on hand as well for some added crunch.

We loved this salad.

The complexity of flavors really balanced each other perfectly. And quinoa is the perfect blank canvas to take on flavors like these well.


We had it for the lunch the next day and will be making this one over and over again.

Recipe:

Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Cinnamon Dressing
1 Cup quinoa (cook as directed on package)
3 large red beets, scrubbed and greens clipped
1 tspn olive oil
1 large orange, peeled and sectioned
1 small bunch cilantro
1/4 cup chipotle glazed almonds
Dressing:
3 Tblspns lime juice
1 Tblspn Dijon mustard
2 tspns chipotle powder
1 tspn Organic Blue Agave Cinnamon
salt & pepper
6 Tblpns extra virgin olive oil


Directions:
Scrub beets lightly, cut green steps. Place beets in foil, drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until soft. While beets cook prepare quinoa according to label. Let beets cool then peel, slice and roughly chop. Mix beets and quinoa in a large bowl. Peel and section orange with a knife and put in salad. Chop cilantro and add to salad. Make dressing by mixing lime, mustard chipotle, agave and salt & pepper. Slowly stream in olive oil whisking constantly until smooth. Pour dresing over salad. Garnish with chopped almonds and cilantro. 





Friday, June 15, 2012

Jalapeno Margarita

Yep, you read the title correctly it does say "Jalapeno" Margarita.


Don't run away yet it really is good. And it's not necessarily as spicy or hot as you might think.

G got really excited about these drinks on our Spokane trip a few week's ago (linked) while drinking these insanely good Serrano cilantro drinks. Since then he's been trying to perfect his version.
The original drink that inspired G's version
Sometimes he uses jalapeno, other times he uses Serrano it mostly depends on what we have on hand or what looks best at the market.

The spice is just a slight hint in the background of each drink, unless you add too many seeds or too many chiles.Then you bet you're mouth will be on fire. And of course you can adjust the amount of chile and seeds to your liking.

As we are trying to cut down on sugar we've been using agave syrup lately to replace the sugar and let me tell you agave syrup makes a great cocktail.

For this particular margarita we used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Raw Blue Agave version that I received as "swag" from the Blogher conference last weekend. The syrup cuts down a step of needing to make your own simple syrup and it tastes even better in our opinion.

We wish you a great weekend and we're pretty sure our Friday will include a few of these jalapeno margaritas.
Give one a try, we dare you!

Recipe:
G's Jalapeno Margarita:
1 oz of good quality blanco (silver) tequila
2 tsp Wholesome Sweetners Organic Raw Blue Agave
2-5 slice of jalapenos w/seeds (depending on tolerance)
1-2 Tbsp of cilantro
4 oz. Club soda
2 limes juiced

In a cocktail shaker add jalapenos, agave, and cilantro and muddle. Add tequila, lime juice, and ice and shake. Pour into a glass and add Club soda-stir. Garnish w/ lime and jalapeno.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our Seattle Restaurant Crawl

Last weekend while up in Seattle attending the Blogher Food '12 conference we decided to do a restaurant crawl of sorts.

We always have what seems like a running list of 10 Seattle restaurants that we want to try and never have time to do so. So we decided let's start with a few happy hour spots and share a dish at each place and see how far we get. Our idea of fun!
So our crawl began. This is the kind of thing G & his buddy Frost have come to love to do together.

We started off in Capitol Hill at Tavern Law. Evidently voted one of the best 25 bars by GQ magazine. We arrived early, only just a few folks there. A quiet Friday evidently. It had a very English pub kind of feel. It additionally had an amazing drink list.
Smoked Fingerling Potatoes with Serrano Fondue
Sadly the female bartender got a bit hostile when G asked for "a something different kind of drink." I mean I get hearing that question while people are looking at a menu of what feels like 100's of choices might get old. But this is a service oriented environment and getting "cranky" with a customer who is just trying to find out what's good when it's not even close to busy wasn't called for. I was so turned off I initially was ready to bail. But G kept cool and she read our reaction and obviously became aware just how hostile she was coming off and changed her approach a bit. We each ordered a tasty "different kind of cocktail" and ordered these scrumptious smoked fingerling potatoes with serrano fondue. They were a wonderful start to our crawl.

Once the bartender's "edge" wore off she interacted a bit more with us and recommended we try Canon  down the street for our next stop.

Canon was a tiny place totally packed. The hostess actually seats you to stand against the wall. They definitely work every inch of their space.
Cocktails @ Canon

We had some incredibly strong whiskey cocktails that reinforced that I'm not really a whiskey fan after all.
Snack mix @ Canon

For food we had their popcorn snack of popcorn, pretzels and cashews that was both sweet and spicy.
Braised pork cheeks- Fabulous @ Canon
We additionally ordered the braised pork cheeks over polenta that was fantastic.

Next we hopped in a cab and headed down by the market to try one of Tom Douglas' 10 Seattle restaurants; Seatown Seabar. We've now tried 8 of his restaurants.

Seatown felt a bit touristy for a Tom Douglas place but given it's location I suppose it makes sense.

We sat at the bar as now it was getting closer to Friday night dinner time and things were getting a bit busy. And here we were greeted with the friendliness and enthusiasm I would hope every waiter or waitress would extend to a customer.
Steamers at Seatown Seabar

Here we shared a bowl of succulent steamers with a bottle of Boomtown Chardonnay.
Crab BLT @ Seatown Seabar
And a very tasty crab blt. It was all great; the service, the food, the vibe, the wine. Tom knows how to do a restaurant right.

To be honest by this point I was stuffed, my feet were aching and I was ready to call it a night. But G was determined we were going to the Steelhead Diner to have poutine. So I went with it.
Poutine @ Steelhead Diner

We do love the Steelhead Diner. Always have had a good meal there. And they do have some good poutine.

A few bites in I said to G, "I can't eat another bite can we please go back to the hotel now?" His response, "After I have some dessert."
We compromised he got dessert to go and he actually ate it for breakfast the next morning.

We loved our Seattle restaurant crawl. What a great way to get to experience several good restaurants in one evening.
Can't wait to our next one.